Pinch Me, I Must Be Dreaming

Matt Stoller received the following email from a member of Congress (emphasis mine):

Paulsen and congressional Republicans, or the few that will actually vote for this (most will be unwilling to take responsibility for the consequences of their policies), have said that there can’t be any “add ons,” or addition provisions. Fuck that. I don’t really want to trigger a world wide depression (that’s not hyperbole, that’s a distinct possibility), but I’m not voting for a blank check for $700 billion for those mother fuckers.

Nancy said she wanted to include the second “stimulus” package that the Bush Administration and congressional Republicans have blocked. I don’t want to trade a $700 billion dollar giveaway to the most unsympathetic human beings on the planet for a few fucking bridges. I want reforms of the industry, and I want it to be as punitive as possible.

Henry Waxman has suggested corporate government reforms, including CEO compensation, as the price for this.  Some members have publicly suggested allowing modification of mortgages in bankruptcy, and the House Judiciary Committee staff is also very interested in that.  That’s a real possibility.

We may strip out all the gives to industry in the predatory mortgage lending bill that the House passed last November, which hasn’t budged in the Senate, and include that in the bill.  There are other ideas on the table but they are going to be tough to work out before next week.

I also find myself drawn to provisions that would serve no useful purpose except to insult the industry, like requiring the CEOs, CFOs and the chair of the board of any entity that sells mortgage related securities to the Treasury Department to certify that they have completed an approved course in credit counseling. That is now required of consumers filing bankruptcy to make sure they feel properly humiliated for being head over heels in debt, although most lost control of their finances because of a serious illness in the family. That would just be petty and childish, and completely in character for me.

I’m open to other ideas, and I am looking for volunteers who want to hold the sons of bitches so I can beat the crap out of them.

I had to take those credit counseling courses when I filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in July. “Courses”: plural. One bankruptcy, two courses. I had to take the first one before the bankruptcy could even be filed. I had to take the second one before the bankruptcy could be discharged. Each one of those courses cost FIFTY DOLLARS — money I didn’t have. My ex-husband gave it to me — not loaned, gave. I was supposed to spend at least two hours on each exam, and at the end I had to “certify,” by clicking boxes, that I had spent that much time (I hadn’t), and other questions I can’t remember exactly, but to the effect that I had understood, that I had taken it all to heart, that I was going to be a good girl, and that I wasn’t going to be a bad girl anymore.

The entire email is fantastic, but those two sentences I bolded are heavenly, because I never thought in a million years any member of Congress would say them.

5 Responses to “Pinch Me, I Must Be Dreaming”

  1. Plumb Bob says:

    Incredible and disgusting, the number of people who find this infantile whining encouraging. There isn’t an ounce of real analysis here; somebody who’s responsible for providing leadership and sober deliberation is simply throwing a tantrum like a three-year-old, and all the little three-year-olds are joining in.

    The Paulsen plan is a nightmare, and opposing it is a good idea, but it must be opposed with genuine analysis and a sensible plan, not with beating fists and kicking the ground.

    Here, read this: it contains genuine analysis and an alternative plan.

    You may agree or disagree, but it’s not a tantrum, it’s a plan. THIS is the sort of thing people should be applauding, not the infantile screaming of infants in adult bodies. Don’t like it? Come up with an alternative plan, BASED ON GENUINE ANALYSIS.

  2. Kathy says:

    “We want you to answer some questions and then we’ll let you take our money” is not my idea of either genuine analysis or a sensible plan.

    You should take the time to read this lawmaker’s email a second time. There IS a plan in there. It’s presented with much anger, which is entirely appropriate, but it’s there. If you can’t find it upon a second reading, just let me know and I will repeat it here for you.

  3. Chief says:

    I find a plan in the site to which you link. And I could live with accountability and some hard & fast rules.

    But, I have difficulty believing that any lawmaker, no matter how pissed-off and upset they would be, would use that particular 4-letter word even once, much less twice – in-the-same paragraph in a letter sent to the public.

    “sons of bitches” and “crap” are a stretch. “Fuck” and “mother fuckers” I would have to see the letter to believe it.

  4. Kathy says:

    Chief, the email wasn’t sent to the public. It was sent to Matt Stoller. Obviously, they know each other. The raw language is just as obviously the reason Matt kept the lawmaker’s identity confidential.

  5. D Metzger says:

    Politicians are human, not saints. And the House? It’s members are even more “down to Earth” than their senate counterparts. Is it really so hard to imagine one of them getting upset enough to swear during the course of a private email exchange?

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